We don't learn much about Cherokee Sal, though she is unique to the Roaring Camp. She is unique because she is the only woman living there among more than a hundred men, and, in addition, she has a baby—something unprecedented in the life of the camp.
Unfortunately, however, given how central she is, she never gets to speak, and we only get the sparsest outline of her physical appearance or interior self. All we learn is that she is "coarse" and "very sinful."
The story is told from the male point of view, and we have to take the male narrator's word about Sal. When she dies after giving birth, the narrator states that the town has been cleansed:
Within an hour she had climbed, as it were, that rugged road that led to the stars, and so passed out of Roaring Camp, its sin and shame, forever.
This is, to put it mildly, a highly misogynist view of Cherokee Sal. She, alone, was the source of sin and shame? Not likely.
However, with Cherokee Sal conveniently out of the way—we are told she is not much mourned—the men decide not to allow another woman into the camp. Stumpy and his ass will raise the boy themselves, and that apparently is fine. Who needs a woman when you have an ass? As Stumpy states:
"Me and that ass," he would say, "has been father and mother to him!"
Cherokee Sal is treated as little more than a plot device that gets the story going so the men can take over. But could it be that without a woman to care for the child their luck runs out?